Disclaimer: Jonathan Smith and Mark Gordon belong to Michael Landon. Hehe. Eve and Joe are mine.
A/N: I know I haven't updated in ages. It's been slow going. I've just started on Chapter 7 a little while ago. Hopefully now that I'm out of school for the summer, I can get more chapters up. Anyway, enjoy. Also, if you have a livejournal account, you can get my stories syndicated to your friends page. The account name is ffkittythedb. And now, onto the story.
"Hello there, old man. What have you been up to since I left?" Eve asked with a smile as she approached the wrinkled old man who sat rocking on his porch.
Age had shriveled old man Haskett, the wrinkles on his face only indicating the many memories he had left of the past. His salt and pepper hair was thinning and his body was looking much smaller than the well built frame he always had. Eve's words made his brown eyes grow curious before he recognized her for what she really was.
"Well, well. Look who's come back to give me a hard time. You ready for another beating?" Joe asked, pointed a wrinkled finger at her.
She laughed. "I suppose I'm ready for you to cheat again if that's what you're asking, old man."
Joe Haskett harrumphed at that and peered around her to see who she had brought with her. "Who's that? Your reinforcement?"
Eve shook her head at the old man. "Just an old pal of mine and his friend, Joe. I'd like you to meet Jonathan and Mark."
"How do you do, Mr. Haskett?" Jonathan said as he came up the porch step to shake the old man's hand.
"Fine, fine." Joe replied, shaking the angel's hand with quite a strong grip. Joe held onto Jonathan's hand a bit longer as he looked up at him thoughtfully. "You're one of them, aren't you?"
"Yes, he is, Joe," Death responded for the confused angel.
"I knew it," Joe replied as he released Jonathan's hand. "You've come at last to take me to my dear departed Mary. Well, how do you like that? I haven't seen you in fifteen years and when I do, you come to take me back. I'm not going, you hear me? Why you'd have to hog tie me and wrestle me down, you old thief."
"Joe!" Eve exclaimed at the old man's outburst. "Joe, will you calm down. We're not here to take you away. At least, I hope not. You see, I needed some way to get here and Jonathan and Mark were just passing by so they gave me a lift."
Old Haskett looked from her to the angel before declaring his thoughts on the issue. "I don't buy it. You keep talking about two people. I only see one. You use to be a very good liar, now you're becoming pitiful."
Eve looked behind her to Jonathan who was confused as to what the old man was getting at as well. As Death's eyes looked beyond the porch, they settled upon the car and the man who was wrestling with it. Jonathan had noticed him by this time as well and was trying hard not to laugh.
"Hey Mark, Having a little trouble?" Jonathan called out to his friend good-naturedly.
Mark Gordon stopped tugging on his jacket that was stuck in the door before looking over at the angel in exasperation. "No, of course not. The keys are locked in the car and I'm stuck to the car. Why would I be having any trouble?"
Eve bit her lip in laughter. "I'm terribly sorry, Mark. Locking everything is a habit of mine," she shouted to him. "See if it works now."
Mark pulled on the door handle once more in annoyance and was glad when he found it to finally be open. After freeing himself, he was about to close the door again before reaching over and taking the keys from the ignition. Shutting the door in satisfaction, he finally made his way up the sidewalk to Joe Haskett's house.
"Joe, this is Mark," Eve said introducing him to the old man.
"I stand corrected," Joe said. "I take it this one's not an angel," he said to his friend in a softer voice.
"No. Ex-cop. Nice to meet you," Mark replied as well-mannered as he could without losing his temper.
"Well, would you like to come in, since this is going to be a social visit?" the old man asked.
"Of course not, Joe. I think they'd like to stay out side," Eve replied sarcastically.
"Shut up, you," Joe Haskett replied as he stood slowly up and ushered them toward his screen door.
Eve grinned in amusement. Who said Death had to be serious all the time? There was no law that said that. In fact, it had quite a strange sense of humor. There was no way that it couldn't have one with the business that she was in.
"Mr. Haskett, how did you know that I was an angel?" Jonathan asked as the old man led them into his house.
"When you've know this character as long as I have," Joe said jolting his thumb in Eve's direction, "You get a sense about these things."
"You're Joe Haskett?" Mark asked in surprise. "The Joe Haskett?"
"The one and the same," Joe replied as he led them into his softly carpeted living room.
"Wow, you know you really made a difference in a lot of the cops I worked with. We felt as if some of the work we did wasn't in vain. I think hearing about you helped a lot of them through tough times." Mark told him in awe.
"Glad to hear my thirty-five years wasn't in vain," Joe Haskett said with a wistful smile. Everyone always remember him for the work he had done with the police force but mostly, Joe remembered the work he had done years ago in the army. Many of those faces had never left his mind.
"Now, who is it you are this time, you little thief?" Joe asked Death as he motioned his guests to sit down in on his couch. "Take it you're not Jim, Patrick, Michael or Virginia this time."
She smirked. "The name's Eve Reagan."
Joe harrumphed at that. "Eve, huh? And what's your plan of business this time, Ms. Reagan?"
"Poker of course," Eve replied as she took as seat across from him.
"Poker," Joe echoed in reply. "Poker, she says, Jonathan. Does He know about this gambling vice this fine creature has seemed to have developed?" he asked.
The angel couldn't help but smile. "Oh, He knows."
"How do you think some people die, Joe? They take a gamble. Maybe I've seen too many of them come into my office and I've developed that fault as well," Eve added.
"I'm surprised I haven't ended with a permanent visit to see you with all the gambles I've taken in my life," Joe replied as he produced a deck of cards from his shirt pocket.
Joe smiled and looked like he was about to say more but the words didn't make it out. Clutching his side strangely, the cards in his hand slipped to the ground as he began to lean forward and then fell towards the floor.
"Joe!" Death yelped, grabbing his just before he fell. "This isn't suppose to happen," she said as her old friend gazed up at her. "Hang on, Joe. You're not suppose to die yet."
"I'll call an ambulance," Jonathan told them before quickly leaving the room. He had know something was going to happen to Joe as soon as he met him. Jonathan hadn't wanted to, nor did he have time to tell either Eve or Mark. Death had not known that he was to have a stroke for its business was only to care for them after they had died, not during their life as it was for certain angels.
Mark had heard the angel say he would call for an ambulance but his eyes had been upon Joe and Eve, frightened at what had just taken place. He knew that she hadn't known that Joe would have been on the floor of his home. Death had only wanted to take a holiday from its normal activities for a short vacation. What a vacation Eve was having so far.
Knowing that there was nothing that Mark could do, he decided to leave the room as well to give Eve and Joe some time alone. Finding Jonathan on the phone, Mark waited patiently. A moment later, when the angel hung up, he started interrogating him.
"You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?" the ex-cop asked, annoyed at his best friend.
"Yeah, I knew," Jonathan replied somberly. "I knew as soon as I shook his hand."
"What happened to him?" Mark asked, more worried than angry.
"He's had a stroke. The ambulance is on its way."
Mark shook his head. "Imagine if we hadn't been here. What would have happened to him?"
"He would have probably died," the angel told him calmly.
Mark shook his head. "I can't believe it. What a day," he said, before he was silent for a moment. "So this is it then? This is our assignment?"
Jonathan nodded. "Part of it."
He looked at the angel curiously. "I'll tell you later," the angel replied before he began to leave the room. "I'm going to check on Eve and Joe. The ambulance will be here in a few minutes."
Mark watched his friend for a moment as he went back into the living room as he shook his head. "Sometimes, he really leaves me hanging," he said, hearing the faint sound of an ambulance in the distance.